Steelseries Siberia 200 Gaming Headset Review

Introduction


The legendary Steelseries Siberia gaming headset returns, with almost a decade of being one of the most popular headset ranges on the market, SteelSeries are back with their latest edition, the Siberia 200. Following in the footsteps of its predecessors, the iconic design remains mostly unchanged, but that doesn’t mean the headset isn’t still improving with each iteration. If you’ve ever used any of the Siberia headset range over the years, you’ll no doubt know why it has proven so popular, not only with at home gamers, but also a huge portion of the eSports and pro gaming community. The build quality, the comfortable fit, the competitive price and most importantly, the great performance are all just right, but will the latest edition improve or, at least, live up to the standards set by previous models?

Check out the new Show Your Colours promotional video from SteelSeries. If the video leaves you a little confused, it’s more about their new customisation options, even if that’s not really clear from the video. The Siberia 200 is available in a range of funky colours, although we’ll just be taking a look at the iconic while model today.

Equipped with powerful 50mm Neodymium drivers, a good quality microphone and multi-format 3.5mm connectors, the Siberia 200 is ticking all the right boxes in terms of features. What’s nice is that you can use the headset on PC, Mac, Mobile and PlayStation devices although anything that supports 3.5mm 4-pole or dual 3.mm cables will work just fine too.

The packaging is nicely designed, with a great image of the headset on the front. Please ignore the crushed corner of the box, that’s got a lot more to do with the courier than it does with Steelseries. At least if the headset is in one piece, we know it’s well protected.

Around the back, you’ll find a quick rundown of the main features, such as the lightweight and comfortable fit, auto adjusting headband, balanced drivers, in-line controller and improved cable design.

In the box, you’ll find the hard-wired headset as well as a dual 3.5mm to single 3.5mm 4-pole adapter cable.

All cables come with a really nice quality rubber coating which should help prevent tangles and also looks pretty great too. All of the jacks are gold-plated too, so they shouldn’t corrode or fade over the next few hundred years.

The in-line controller is pretty slim, but has a nice and large slide switch for the master microphone mute, with a clear red indicator so you can quickly see when it’s muted. there’s also a master volume wheel on the side.

SteelSeries Siberia V3 Gaming Headset Review

 

Introduction


Today is a great day, as I finally get to take a look at the latest entry in the ever-popular Siberia gaming headset series. The original Siberia was widely regarded as a great headset, the V2 was and still is thought of as one of the best price vs performance headsets on the market and now we’re at V3, will it continue the trend and be even greater than its predecessors?

As you can see from the specifications below, the V3 is equipped with all the basics. Good quality drivers, a unidirectional microphone and 3.5mm jack plugs; nothing extraordinary, but certainly everything you’re likely to need.

In the box, you’ll find a small booklet to help you setup the headset, although it’s not rocket science really. There’s also a 4-pole to dual 3-pole 3.5mm adaptor; the V3 is compatible with mobile devices and desktop systems.

The headset its self comes hard-wired with a 4-pole cable, perfect for hooking it up to your MP3 player, tablet, smartphone or any other 3.5mm compatible audio output.

The back of the drivers have a nice finish to them with a mixture of gloss and matte plastics that feel durable, but incredibly lightweight. There’s a pivot on the back of the ear-cup to help provide a closer fit over your ear.

At the back of the left ear-cup, you’ll find a small switch to mute the microphone, it comes with a raised section that makes it easier to find and toggle without having to take the headset off and look for it.

As with the previous Siberia headset, the microphone has a flexible boom and can be retracted back into the earcup; a nice solution to hiding the boom when you don’t need it, without having to resort to a detachable one.

The microphone looks pretty straight forward,  but the pull-out/push-away design, combined with the flexible boom makes it really easy to find a comfortable speaking position.

The headband is very similar to previous headsets in this range. Instead of a sliding headband, you have two fixed outer supports that help keep the headset clamped over your ears, while the soft inner section is sprung and will auto-adjust to your head size.

It’s a really cool design, but it also helps cut out a lot of unrequired materials, which in turn helps reduce the weight of the headset.

There’s very little padding here, but since the inner band moves outwards, it still very comfortable to wear; more so than most headsets with thick padding.

The springs are strong, but quite forgiving and it means you never need to adjust the headset; even when switching between users.

The headband design is durable but also very forgiving and you can put quite a lot of strain on it without any concern that it is going to break. This is good for those who plan to chuck the headset in their backpack and travel with it, as it’s certainly not going to break anytime soon.

There’s a soft leather padding on the ear cups that is comfortable to wear, but also provides a nice clean fit over your ears, blocking out a lot of unwanted external sound, whilst also keeping your personal audio from leaking.

Overall, a very nice looking headset with great build quality and a lightweight design.

SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Multi-Format Gaming Headset Review

Introduction


SteelSeries are one of the hottest gaming brands around, so I’m very happy today to have their flagship gaming headset, the Siberia Elite Prism, in the eTeknix office. The Siberia series has long proven to be a big hit with the gaming community, especially their excellent V2 and more recently, the V3 versions of the headset, as they offer great performance for a very reasonable price; something that has made them a smash hit with the eSports community.

The Elite Prism more than doubles the price of the V3 headset, but promises a lot more features and functionality for desktop users, such as multi-format support, USB and 3.5mm connectivity, Dolby surround processing and a whole lot more, so I have pretty high expectations of what this headset should be capable of.

As you can see from the specifications below, it’s certainly packing a lot of features and should be a great headset, so let’s get right to it and take a closer look at what the Elite Prism has to offer.

The packaging for this headset is really nice, it has all the hallmarks of a premium product and a really nice image of the headset on the front.

Around the back, there’s a few extra details about the SteelSeries Engine, which will allow for surround and EQ processing, as well as customisation of the headsets built-in LED lighting.

In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get you started and more. There’s a quick start guide, a 4-pole cable for mobile devices, dual 3-pole for aux devices, such as your PC, an extension cable and a USB sound card with proprietary connection for the headset, as well as a pair of 3.5mm jacks for headphones and microphone, giving you a huge array of connection options to support many different gaming systems and devices.

All of the cables are of a very high quality, with flat, tangle-free, rubber coated cables.

The headset comes hard-wired with another high-quality cable and a proprietary connector, which can be connected to any of the multiple connection cables that are included in the box.

As if the Elite Prism didn’t have enough connectivity options included in the box, the right ear-cup also has a headphone jack. You can use this to connect another set of headphones, so you can share your audio with a friend; not the most practical feature in the world, but a cool addition none the less.

The headset just oozes premium quality and the mixture of soft finish metals and rubber coated white surfaces looks absolutely stunning.

The metal headband support is very well finished and mounts to the rear-center of the ear cups, while the left to right cable runs through the inner suspension-style headband.

The inner ring of each ear cup is actually a control wheel – turn this one and you can control the master volume level; great for making quick adjustments while enjoying your favorite media. There’s another on the left ear-cup that can be used to mute or unmute the microphone.

Much like the other Siberia series headsets, the microphone has a flexible and retractable boom that pulls out of the bottom of the ear cup. This is a really nice solution compared to a detachable boom as you can still hide it out of sight, but you’re not going to misplace it like you can a detachable one.

The headband is nice and strong, offering good support over your head. Instead of an extending slider on the side, the outer headband is fixed, while the inner section uses a suspension mounting.

On one side, you’ve got a lovely white finish, with an embossed SteelSeries logo on the top.

The inner section is treated to some luxurious padding that will help provide a comfortable fit for those long gaming sessions.

As you put the headset on your head, the inner band automatically stretches out, providing you with the optimum fit.

The ear cups are an over-the-ear design and are treated to a thick padding for improved comfort levels.

It looks super thick, but the padding is actually only half as deep as it looks. The black leather is just extended over the back of the ear cup to further add to the esthetics; it works too, the headset looks stunning!

New Range of SteelSeries Siberia Gaming Headsets Revealed

The SteelSeries Siberia has long been one of the most popular headset ranges on the market, offering a several high performance headsets for both the consumer and competitive gaming markets. Now SteelSeries are back with the latest range of products in the Siberia family.

“For us, Siberia is the definition of what gaming audio looks, feels and sounds like. When it was first introduced, Siberia delivered a sense of style that was unique to what was typically expected from gaming audio. It produced exactly what was, and is necessary – ‘forget-that-you’re-wearing-it’ comfort and great sound,” said Tino Soelberg, SteelSeries CTO. “The new Siberia family takes this foundation and extends it into a full product range that delivers an incredibly awesome audio experience for the gamer in everyone”

First up we have the Siberia V3, which features improved audio, new construction, new noise-reducing memory foam ear cushions and a single connection with included splitter; making the headset compatible with mobile devices as well as desktops.

The Siberia V3 Prism is the same as above, but also features a few extra features such as 16.8 million LED colour customisation via the SteelSeries Engine software.

  • Unlimited profile settings that can be saved and accessed from anywhere via SteelSeries CloudSync
  • Microphone Noise Suppression and Microphone Auto Compression technologies optimize voice communication automatically
  • Digital audio quality with custom EQ
  • ColorShift illumination effects and modes that can be set by the user, or triggered by game sounds and events

The Siberia Elite Prism features a slimmer microphone, an upgraded sound card, Dolby and Dolby Pro Logic IIx technology for vitual 7.1 surround, customisable illumination and audio, as well as the improved ear padding of the V3 and an upgraded modular cable system for use on PC, Mac, PS4 and mobile devices.

Finally we have the new RAW Prism, an economical, lightweight model for those on a tighter budget; while maintaining a good range of features such as audio profiles, illumination effects, built-in microphone, Mic Auto Optimization technology for clear audio and USB connectivity for use on PC, Mac and PS4.

The V3 will be available for $99.99, the V3 Prism for $139.99, the Elite Prism for $199.99 and finally the RAW Prism for $59.99.

Thank you SteelSeries for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of SteelSeries.

SteelSeries Siberia Elite WoW Edition Revealed

SteelSeries are back once again with their ever popular Siberia headset range, this time with their once limited edition Elite model, their current flagship PC gaming headset. Steelseries are no stranger to re-releasing hardware with new clothes, and the Elite is no exception, this time coming draped in World of Warcraft colours for fans of the long lasting Blizzard MMORPG. Personally I think it feels a little late to the party to launch a WoW headset these days, but despite the games age our recent report shows that it is still far from dead, despite lowering player numbers.

“Our partnership with Blizzard Entertainment to create unique gear for the World of Warcraft community has culminated in this bold new version of our premium and award-winning headset-a perfect complement to Blizzard’s upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion,” said Tino Soelberg, SteelSeries CTO. “Players deserve the best quality audio to experience the music and sounds of Draenor; this exclusive edition of the Siberia Elite headset delivers epic audio quality in a beautiful World of Warcraft-themed design.”

The SteelSeries Siberia Elite World of Warcraft Edition will be available to pre-order right now from the official SteelSeries Web Ship for $219.99 / €219,99. Not cheap, but if you want the quality of a their flagship headset in the style of your favourite game, expect to pay a premium for it.

Thank you SteelSeries for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of SteelSeries.

Kingston HyperX Gaming Headset Review

Today we’re taking quick look at the Kingston HyperX Gaming Headset, which of course many of you may immediately recognise as the Steelseries Siberia v2, 3.5mm edition. You would of course be absolutely correct, this is the Steelseries headset, but what we have here is a new special edition, effectively a brand new design that is targeted at both players and fans of eSports.

While normally we would take an in-depth look at this headsets performance and features, were going to be focusing on the new design today, we’ve already reviewed the Siberia V2 and since technical aspects and performance as unchanged, we see no reason in doing it again. However, we simply couldn’t pass up getting a closer look at this edition and given that it combines some of the biggest names in the industry such as Kingston HyperX who now have a bigger involvement in eSports through various sponsorship deals, but are also celebrating 10 years in the industry. We also have pro gaming teams on the box such as NaVi and SK Gaming. So without further delay, let’s get straight to it and see how things look on the HyperX headset.

The box is pretty much the same as the original headset, but the Steelseries branding has been minimised in favour of the Kingston brand and a darker box design.

Things are the same around the back, along side a few technical details and a couple of small images of the headset its self.

The headset features a new black and cosmic blue colour scheme that gives it a bold, almost retro look.

The left and right ear cups both feature a small HyperX logo on the support bar.

The open back drivers feature a subtle “x” decal in white that adds a nice extra style touch to the design, but most of all I really like the metallic paint job. The paint has a subtle sparkle to it in bright lights, but remains a deep blue non the less.

A much larger and more bold HyperX logo runs over the headband that sits below the two torsion bars, while the interior of the drivers also features an “x” logo design.

The soft padding from the Siberia V2 remains in place on the headband, so you can expect the same comfortable fit that you get from the Steelseries standard editions.

The in-line controller has the same design as the stock Steelseries edition, although it is also finished in the metallic blue of the headset.

A soft touch coating on the cables should help prevent tangles. Just like the original headset we find dual 3.5mm cables, as well as a dual 3.5mm female to male extension cable.

The tip of the retractable headphone is also finished in the metallic blue, which can be seen tucked away on the base left ear cup (right side of the picture).

As usual, the microphone slides out with ease and features a silver colouring and a thick plastic coating on the boom that should prevent it from getting clogged with dirt.

So there we have it, overall I think this new one looks fantastic and while there maybe a seemingly endless supply of Steelseries headset designs to choose from, this is easily my new favourite as it matches the HyperX Predator ram and blue LED lighting of my system.

The performance is premium grade, something that we have come to expect from Steelseries and should you like the design there is no reason why you shouldn’t buy this over a normal design Steelseries Siberia V2 headset. The big factor for me has to be price and at time of writing this headset was just under £70 from OCUK, I have noticed the price of Steelseries headsets fluctuate based on their design and colour, so always best to shop around, but for now this is well priced and a solid investment.

Of course we did say that we had reviewed this headset before, so if your interesting in seeing what else the Siberia V2 has to offer in terms of performance, feel free to check out our featured review here.

Finally, it wouldn’t be fair to leave this without an award, but it wouldn’t be fair to give it any other award than what we gave it in our full review, but I still think the HyperX headset is worthy of our Gamers Choice award as it is still one of the best price vs performance headsets on the market.

 

 

Steelseries Siberia V2 PC Headset Frost Blue Special Edition Review

Steelseries already have quite a history behind them and its not hard to see why, they have an extensive and much applauded product range that caters for everything from high performance gaming keyboards to audio products, all of which have proved them selves popular time and time again on both the eSports scene and with the general gaming community.

This popularity within the gaming scene isn’t by accident either, and you don’t have to spend too long at a LAN gaming event, computer trade show, or anything based around gaming communities to find plenty of people sporting a Steelseries product. Steelseries have worked hard at the ground level to support gaming teams, invest time in consumer testing and letting people get hands on with their products to not only prove they work, but to also find ways of improving them.

Its through this success that the brand has also been labeled as somewhat of a style accessory, its a “cool” brand to own and the gaming scene isn’t necessarily one that is synonymous with fashion, but when its backed up by performance or by something that can physically improve how well you play, then its a done deal.

“From day one, SteelSeries has been focused on making high performance gaming gear used by the most demanding, top professional gamers worldwide and peripherals that provide superior quality and a competitive edge to gamers of all skill levels. We believe, as most gamers do, in winning, not trying!”

The headset we’re looking at today is from the popular Siberia range and priced at around £100 here in the UK it isn’t exactly cheap, yet there is a strong market for headsets in this price range and so long as all round quality and performance is up to scratch its a small price to pay for something that you may end up using for several hours a day for gaming, multimedia and maybe even a little work.

Headphones

  • Frequency response: 18 – 28,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 40 Ohm

Microphone

  • Frequency response: 50 – 16,000 Hz
  • Pick up pattern: Uni-directional
  • Sensitivity: -38 dB
  • Active noise reduction: Up to 20dB

Everything Else

  • Cable length: 3 ft.
  • USB Cable extension: 6.5 ft.
  • 50mm Drivers
  • Integrated Soundcard
  • 16 LED, 6 Mode Illumination
  • Retractable Noise-Cancelling Microphone

The front cover features a velcro panel that folds out given a huge close up of the ear cup and a little marketing slogan “Incredible comfort. Award winning sound.” Also a large windowed panel gives us a great view of the headset and that’s no doubt tailored towards people picking up the headset in a retail store.

In the box we find the headset its self, which comes hardwired with a durable USB cable, a quick start guide, and the best extra I’ve seen in a while, a simple yet effective USB extension cable.

The headset is finished in a stunning gloss white with some subtle textures around the fittings. A mesh cover on the back of the earcups covers a series of 16 blue LED lights, 8 per ear cup.

Tucked away on the left ear cup is a pull-out, flexible boom mic, and it’s just as easily tucked away for when you don’t need it. Each ear cup features a super soft grey padding and that should provide a fantastic fit for those long gaming sessions. A sprung / elasticated system keeps the headband firm on your head and it should provide a clean fit for any head size without the need for side adjusters.

The round shape of the ear cups looks sleek and stylish, and the central mounting acts as a pivot to further assist with a good fit over your ears. If you look in the bottom left you can also see the microphone boom neatly tucked away.

The headband sits neatly inside the twin bars that float above your head when wearing the set, branded neatly with the Steelseries logo across the top, although the headset is already quite distinctively a Steelseries headset, but it still looks pretty cool with the branding.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/Q-76JyAQHu0[/youtube]

Setup & Installation

The headphones are as friendly as plug-and-play, fortunately Windows 7 found the drivers immediately and even the microphone worked with ease. However, if you really want to get the most out of the headsets features your going to need to download and installed the Steelseries Engine software. It’s not a big download, but it does give you unified control over multiple Steelseries devices, allows you to tweak the headsets EQ presets, including create a custom one, adjust LED light intensity and frequency, as well as the overall volume.

Music

I always start my headset reviews with the music test, it’s the best way to get a grasp of the sets drivers, equalisers and all round performance, what I wasn’t expecting was the sound quality to be anywhere near when the Siberia V2 offered up. I listen to an extremely wide range of music and its important to me to be able to enjoy any style of music, at any volume, when ever I feel like it. The extreme high and low tones of Cannibal Corpse were rattle free, the warm mid tones of Genesis were soothing and didn’t wash out any of that classic Vinyl prog rock tone that I love so much, but the real winner is the high end notes and vocal lines, regardless of the volume of how much racket the rest of the music was making, this was easily the most distinct part of the sound, yet as clear as the high tones are they didn’t sound like they were over powering the audio.

Movies

The driver handle extreme bass really well and while there maybe some buzz at the most intense settings and extreme volume, this is true of most any headset and only happens beyond the pain threshold of most people hearing. The low rumbles of epic battles in Lord of the Rings are faultless and against as with music, dialogue was incredibly clear.

Gaming

Its obvious at this point that the headset is doing well in my tests, but the real important job for this headset is gaming, it is essentially a gaming headset after all! Fortunately it doesn’t disappoint, and while the frequency ranges and their clarity were still holding strong throughout gaming, but it soon became clear why the Siberia is popular with gamers. Having powerful drivers really offers up a rich, deep and engrossing world around you but this is further brought to life by the range of stereo separation, I find some headphones can sound a little “close” to your ears, giving a false sound. That really isn’t the case here however, and the Siberia V2’s can really give you that sound of wide open spaces and a greatly positioned audio, perfect for making you jump when someone sneaks up behind you in Battlefield 3.

This headset is a solid all rounder, there are so many positive I can think of in terms of audio quality for music, movies and gaming, and quite honestly I find it hard to pick a clear winner on which was best. But as with most things, there is always something that sticks out above the rest and for me it was the microphone. For the size of it, I wasn’t expecting amazing performance from the microphone and I was exactly right, it gives very good performance at best, still that’s hardly a deal breaker saying it was “very good”, but no “very very good”. However, the benefits of the clear audio really worked well for in game party chat, or even just Skype calling and being able to hear the insult and advice from your fellow team mates can sometimes be difficult in the heat of battle, but the Siberia V2’s came through loud and clear.

As a big music fan I can quite happily sit here for hours with this headset and listen to my favourite albums, I think my own headset sounds a tiny little bit better, but then again it costs twice as much as the Siberia V2 and to be honest, I’d be lying if I said the Siberia v2 sounded £100 worse to my ears than my current set.

Now we move onto comfort, sa this headset features a lightly sprung headband, it sits like a feather on top of your head. The support bars that go over your head don’t actually touch your head and are just there to keep everything in shape, combine that with the super soft padding on the ear cups and you’ve got one of the lightest feeling, most comfortable headsets on the market. The headset may look bulky, but it really doesn’t feel it to wear and while most headsets hurt my ears after an hour or two, I could quite happily wear this set all day long.

So by this point your likely thinking I’m 1 more compliment away from marrying this headset, normally I can think of at least one fault with the set that I like to bring up but that really isn’t the case here, kind of. The LED lighting on the ear cups, if anyone can explain to me what the purpose of this is that would be great? Sure it looks cool, but you can’t see that when the headphones are on your ears, fortunately the software aloud me to disable them, so I was happy with that.

There are many great headsets on the market for around a £100 and this is easily one of the best. While I would like to say “it is the best” I think it really boils down to prefference, some people like the even more outlandish styling or Mad Catz or the brutish but cool look of Razer, or the 90’s look of Logitech (sorry Logitech), while many others will love the allround, accesible styling of the Steelseries range, its very good looking, its very cool to own and you wouldn’t be ashamed to be seen it in (asuming you’ve turned those bright blue LEDS off). Audio performance is literally faultless to my ears, the price isn’t over the top and is actually very good value given the overall build quality and sound quality. Overall I’m blown away by the Siberia V2’s and its why I’m more than I’m happy to award them with the eTeknix Editors Choice Award.